Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Frost Burns

Remaining within the unplugged vein, here's a very tasty acoustic set from Jorma Kaukonen recorded back in 1978.

It wasn't until I married a Finn that I realised Jorma Kaukonen, in name at least, could only be of Finnish extraction.
I always thought the name looked odd alongside those archetypal U.S. sounding monikers, you know: Grace Slick, Jack Casady, Marty Balin, et al.
Of course in today's Wiki-wonder-world it only takes a moment to confirm that his father was 'Finnish-American', but adding to the obvious is the fact that his mother was Russian; creating a curious background for someone who did their own growing up in Washington and San Francisco.

They have a certain kind of melancholy do the people of the North, and it is so often expressed through the manner of music and song.

Now I'm not saying Jorma Kaukonen is any kind of shaman or anything like that, but he adds something to American blues that is not evident in those who are of what? Shall we say hotter blood?

His solo music is prickly, icy, cold.
But at the same time warm and deeply satisfying.

(It's a bugger this trying to write about music thing: think I'll just give up....)

But perhaps that's it!
It's all about opposites: contraries.

Hot Tuna had finished [!] and Kaukonen was between identities.
There also seems to be an audience of about ten people; adding enormously to the intimate and intense atmosphere of this recording.

The quality is so good, on occasion you can hear the glug of bourbon swishing about in the bottle as Kaukonen raises it, replenishing his larynx and his attitude.

The highlights?
Well, the Tuna songs sound particularly poignant; whether there's an extra resonance of grief attached I'm not sure, but I don't remember them sounding quite so affecting when performed by the band.
'Watch the North Wind Rise' is a particular favourite of mine, and really does sound like a calling: its got something of the wastes surrounding Valhalla about it.

But hey, it's all good, and the fact that he performs a couple of songs twice really doesn't matter. It just works. He's such a mesmerising player; his kind of blues just takes you right out of yourself.

Jorma Kaukonen - Old Waldorf, San Francisco: 2/4/78 (Soundboard Boot)

Come Back Baby
Trial By Fire
Another Man Done Gone
Watch the North Wind Rise
Police Dog Blues
Let Us Get Together
Another Man Done Gone
Water Song
Whinin' Boy Blues
Police Dog Blues
Killing Time in the Crystal City
Mann's Fate

CD rip to mp3s (68 mins)
Cool off here


Let's Find H-Man A Wife said...

Jorma is great. Especially that solo album with Genesis and Another Man Done Gone; so thank you.

Richard said...

That's rather special...

Thanks for a great share. :-)

roy rocket said...

Hey, Phillygeek, e sent...